VOICES of Stephenson County hits big milestone

The non-profit celebrates four decades of helping domestic violence and sexually abused survivors.
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 6:04 PM CDT
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FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) - 40-years of helping domestic violence and sexual abuse survivors, VOICES of Stephenson County marks a milestone with a call to action.

Often times a warm bed, a friendly and sympathetic ear, and a safe space means the world to survivors. It is the sole purpose behind what the organization offers every day.

It has for the last four decades.

“We want everybody to realize that domestic and sexual violence exists and the more we talk about it and normalize support, the more better that will be for our community,” said VOICES Executive Director, Beth Maskell.

Leaders say the resources offered at VOICES are invaluable, that’s why they opened the facility’s doors on Thursday to community members. They can now see the work being done and what is needed.

“We’ve realized the tremendous need in the community,” said Maskell.

Even though many people do not report the abuse, Maskell says the number of survivors is multiplying. They need volunteers to help with the caseload, and discussion over a second facility is in the works.

“Volunteers that work directly with our program with survivors they have to go through a 40-hour certification for either domestic or sexual violence. Go through all that. Also criminal background and DCFS background as well,” said Maskell.

VOICES, Stephenson County Sheriff’s Office, and other organizations offer a lot of resources to help survivors of abuse.

“I would say that if there are victims out there of past domestic violence cases that Voices is here to help them,” said Sheriff Snyders.

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